Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ceridian-UCLA: Diesel Fuel index increased in June

by Bill McBride on 7/13/2011 09:00:00 AM

This is the new UCLA Anderson Forecast and Ceridian Corporation index using real-time diesel fuel consumption data: Pulse of Commerce IndexTM

Press Release: Pulse of Commerce Index Rebounds – Up 1.0 Percent In June

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI), issued today by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ceridian Corporation rose 1.0 percent in June on a seasonally and workday adjusted basis, a welcome rebound following declines in the previous two months. Despite the stronger performance in June, the economy continues to remain in idle with the PCI remaining below its level at the end of the first quarter.

“Over the past year the U.S. economy has been in ‘she loves me, she loves me not’ mode,” said Ed Leamer, chief PCI economist and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. “Bad news has been alternating with good, leaving investors and forecasters nervous and unable to identify sustainable trends.”
Pulse of Commerce Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the index since January 2000.
“The June PCI is anticipating industrial production to show modest growth of 0.17 percent for June when the number is released by the Government on July 15, 2011,” [said Craig Manson, senior vice president and Index expert for Ceridian]
...
The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ is based on real-time diesel fuel consumption data for over the road trucking ...
This index has mostly been moving sideways all year. As Leamer noted, this "could be the start of a positive trend, but a one month spike does not make a trend, particularly in light of the many false starts experienced over the last year."

Notes: I've heard from other sources that trucking picked up a little at the end of June - perhaps because of lower fuel prices. This index does appear to track Industrial Production over time (with plenty of noise).

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